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(1954). Ludwig Jekels—1867-1954. Psychoanal Q., 23:434-435.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:434-435

Ludwig Jekels—1867-1954

Ludwig Jekels, born in Austria, graduated from the University of Vienna in 1891. After five years of postgraduate work in the University Hospital, he began his clinical practice in his own clinic for nervous diseases in Silesia in 1897. Vienna at that time being the center of medical development, Dr. Jekels journeyed there periodically to keep abreast with progress in his specialty. What was acceptable in medical science was there completely determined by the opinions of the professors of the University of Vienna. Becoming acquainted with Freud, Dr. Jekels—who like Freud had been profoundly dissatisfied with the inefficacy of the prevalent therapy of the neuroses—turned eagerly to Freud's teaching and became one of his first pupils in 1905. He soon realized that in Freud's conception the whole problem of psychopathology was approached far more promisingly because the nature of pathogenesis was recognized and an attempt was made to establish the significance that the symptom had for the patient. Prompted by his desire to help the sick, and enabled by his courage to disregard the contempt and ridicule leveled at Freud by the professors, Jekels decided to abandon his home and his clinic in Silesia and he moved to Vienna, knowing well that such a move was tantamount to professional isolation and entailed great sacrifices. Scientific work in psychoanalysis under such conditions gave no promise of being recognized as the development of a new science.

Dr. Jekels had a combination of rare gifts. In addition to a very keen intelligence, he had the patience to persevere, and a capacity for laborious work when there was little prospect of any reward in the realizable future. He was imbued with the conviction that he never could pay back what he owed to psychoanalysis.

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